Houston's High Octane Retailer
December 1, 2005

By Nancy Klosek If you Google around on the Internet looking for facts on Texas, you'll find it described as "giant"—a state of "superlatives" and "large, welcoming hearts." In fact, the state motto is a single word: Friendship. So to hear folks there and elsewhere speak of Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, proprietor of Houston-based Gallery Furniture, you'd think McIngvale owned not just his store, but the motto, too. Mack McIngvale, by the account of some, represents the best of Texas—and is almost bigger than life. "You can tell when Mack walks in because the energy level changes dramatically," says Gallery's Walt Dunnigan,

The Regional Riff
November 1, 2005

Dealers look at the big picture for signs about holiday sales, the future of "flat" and the health of the industry moving into 2006 Interviews by Nancy Klosek Dealerscope: This has been a good year for retail overall, but in the second half, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as skyrocketing gas prices, have affected the economy nationwide. How has any or all of this impacted overall business, and business in your region, thus far—and how are you coping? Gary Yacoubian: We definitely had our ups and downs in September. High gas prices and Katrina news seemed to have fueled concerns about the economy

Hurricane Wilma Affects Millions
October 26, 2005

By Janet Pinkerton Check your hurricane fatigue at the door: The impact of Monday's Hurricane Wilma is huge, as Florida retailers and their communities remain hamstrung by power outages and gas shortages. Wilma was a Category 3 hurricane that hit an area covering nearly 22,000 square miles, by Florida Power & Light's estimates. So far, the death toll holds at 7. The Florida Insurance Council pegged preliminary damage estimates to range from $6 billion to $10 billion. An estimated 5 million people were initially without power, thanks to Wilma. Florida Power & Light has restored more than 541,000 out of 3.2 million of its customers initially without

Integrated Media Systems Joins HTSA
October 25, 2005

The Washington, DC area custom residential installer, Integrated Media Systems has joined the national buying group Home Theater Specialists of America. Integrated Media Systems was founded by Tom Wells in 1979 as the commecial division of Audio Associates. Buy 1990 residential installations accounted for nearly 50 percent of the company's gross revenues. Wells has been very active in the CE industry, has served two terms on the CEDIA board of directors (one term as secretary), has chaired the bylaws committee, co-edited the CEDIA Home Theatre Manual, was the 1998 Expo Chairman and received the 1999 Volunteer of the Year award. With the addition

CompUSA to Close All Good Guys Stores
October 5, 2005

In a move to unify its retail operations, CompUSA announced that it is closing all 46 stand-alone Good Guys locations, which includes 45 locations in California and one in Reno, Nev. But the name will not disappear altogether. Company spokesperson, Kate Means, says that the name will live on inside CompUSA locations, as the company expands the home entertainment sections of its traditionally computer-centric stores. The move is seen by company president Larry Mondry as a reaction to consumer demand for one-stop-shopping. "As home entertainment products become more prevalent among consumers, the need for stand-alone, high-end home entertainment retailers is declining," he said in

Post-CEDIA Report
October 1, 2005

From iPod to Virtual Surround, the custom market continues to see change By the Staff At this years 2005 CEDIA Expo, held in early September at the Indianapolis Convention Center and RCA Dome, Indianapolis, the usual suspects were all in attendance—in-wall speakers, high-end audio/video receivers, home control touch-panels and enough cable to cross the Atlantic Ocean. But several trends at the show revealed an undercurrent in the industry which is increasingly reflecting consumer buying patterns, particularly those gravitating towards digital audio and simplified design. While custom home theater may still be the king of CEDIA, it is clear that even customer intallers cannot ignore

CEDIA Keynote - IT Will Ultimately Encompass Everything
October 1, 2005

By Nancy Klosek CEDIA Expo 2005 bid its most frequent host city farewell until at least 2010, hitting the road fueled by registration figures that, as of Day One Friday, had "already broken records," CEDIA Executive Director, Billilynne Keller declared. "But this show is not about being bigger—it's about trying to be the best," she told keynote breakfast attendees Friday morning. "We want to be the core component of your prosperity." Stressing the educational over the product-introduction aspects of the Expo, CEDIA President Ray Lepper expounded, "The reason we come to Expo is to experience things that change our thinking." His remarks were the

Distributor Dynamics
October 1, 2005

Inventory snafus, falling prices and assessing the effects of Katrina Interviews by Nancy Klosek Dealerscope: In what areas do smaller dealers need the most help in handling supply-chain issues? What are today's biggest challenges for smaller dealers? David Lorsch, President & CEO, DBL Distributing, Scottsdale, Ariz.: They need just-in-time delivery. When you talk about product that is price-volatile today, it's not in somebody's best interest to buy a two- or three-month supply of LCD TVs, or plasma TVs, or digital cameras, because of the devaluation over a period of time. They need rapid shipment, and turnarounds of 12 to 24 hours. Larger, on-hand inventories

Changing Gears
October 1, 2005

In a traditionally male dominated industry, women dealers prove they are an essential part of the retail machine By Jamie Marturano While the business world is often a battleground of the sexes, women in the consumer electronics industry, in particular, just can't catch a break. From the suppliers to the customers, the industry is thick with testosterone. But as seven women recently told Dealerscope, the industry formerly reputed for selling "boys' toys" could use a heavier dose of femininity. In fact, these seven female CE retail owners claim they have an advantage today over an all-male retail outlet. However, when each of them started

Monster and Tweeter Part Ways
September 27, 2005

By David Dritsas Last week Tweeter announced that it would be dropping Monster Cable as a vendor. This week Monster retaliated with a public release claiming that the departure was due to failed credit line negotiations. Tweeter denies the claim. On September 20th, Tweeter announced that it would be dropping Monster as a vendor and replacing the product lines with SKUs from AudioQuest, ProSolutions (both cable companies), Panamax (power components) and JL Audio (mobile a/v interconnects, cables and components). According to the statement, the change was made due to an internal evaluation—ongoing over the past year—of company's product mix. But on September 26th, Monster Cable released